Dram Shop Laws

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Dram shop laws are instituted for all places which serve alcoholic beverages including restaurants, taverns and bars. An employee of these establishments may not serve alcohol to minors or those ‘visibly intoxicated’. If the person which consumed the beverage leaves the establishment, gets in an accident or causes bodily harm to another person, the establishment and the server may be held liable for damages. However, this should not be the case. Those who were intoxicated and caused the accident should be the only ones held liable for damages he or she caused to another person. Too many people take advantage of the legal proponent which allows these places which serve alcohol to be held liable. I would like to remove this proponent and make a revision to Montana’s Dram Shop laws, making it better for servers and consumers alike. In the following I will tell you some positive and negative outcomes if this change ever were to occur. I am going to answer the question of the whether Montana should have the liability clause which puts establishments at risk of being held financially responsible. In order to come to a conclusion, both sides must be heard. I will begin why we should remove these laws and positive outcomes. Should Montana in fact have liability clauses which enable the tavern or bar to be held liable?

The job of a bartender can be a tedious and stressful one. By removing the liability element of the Dram Shop laws, bartenders can focus on their jobs instead of on attempting to recognize the signs of someone who is ‘visibly intoxicated’ (Rumberger: Kirk & Caldwell). This becomes especially difficult on a bustling Saturday evening when the bass of the band is thrumming in your ears and ten different people are calling out, “Bartender!”

On busy Saturday nights, not only are the bartenders kept busy, but the tills are as well. Businesses make quite a bit of money on nights like these; however the liability clause can put a damper on the profits of...
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